Beer With Me

It was as natural as eating and, to me, as necessary. I would not have thought of eating a meal without drinking a beer.”

Ernest Hemingway

The world is divided into two categories of people: those who drink alcohol and those who won’t. Whatever your viewpoint on alcohol and its effects, people will continue to drink – even as others tread  the path of sobriety.

I like to drink beer, you prefer apple juice – and that’s fine. It’s freedom of choice that makes us unique individuals.

But to deny yourself the chance to enjoy the guilty pleasures of this great world is to spend a lifetime with a brown paper bag on your head. With luck and perhaps a small dose of fortitude, your gastronomic adventures will lead you to a slice of foie gras seared medium rare with caramelized bananas and brioche,  or the salty clean taste of the ocean from a fresh shucked oyster.

Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.” 

Dave Barry

Personally, I like beer, it’s an unpretentious drink made from four simple ingredients – grain, hops, yeast and water. When combined and allowed to ferment, the result is a slightly effervescent alcoholic beverage which can be bought at any convenience store, supermarket, gas station, pub or restaurant. The bottle is easily opened. Twist the cork with your thumb and forefinger or use a bottle opener. If none is handy, improvise with a spoon, a knife, the butt end of a lighter, or just use your teeth. Whatever your method, its intent is the same: to allow the amber liquid inside- to flow from bottle tip to tongue  tip. Beer is a blue collar drink, its steel toe boots and blue jeans sitting at the local bar.

 

Beer is meant to be enjoyed without great expense or pompous adjudications. Beer is a wonderful chameleon that blends in at a picnic, backyard barbecue or at the dinner table.  It construes itself to taste exactly as it should. Beer is aromatic and bittersweet, refreshingly delicious without need for garnish, mixers, cranberry juice or glass. It needs no further transformation by shaking, stirring, decanting or even blending.

ANYONE CAN OPEN A BEER

It needs no special location, time, or place to be enjoyed. You can enjoy beer in solitary silence or in a crowded room amongst friends. Beer is ethnic, cultural, and diverse. From the dark amber-colored liquid of Guinness from Ireland, to the clean hoppy taste of Sweetwater Ale in Atlanta, Georgia, or the heady brew that is Jamaican Red Stripe.

I particularly enjoy drinking beer on the balcony of my third floor apartment. This is my quiet time, sitting in the semi-dark watching cars drive in and out of my apartment complex. The MICROS is silent, my knives have been put away, my station is clean, and I am finally home.    

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